Vandals destroyed 62,600 liters (16,537 gallons) of future Brunello di Montalcino when they raided a cellar in the wine-rich Tuscan hills, the producer said.
“During the night between December 2 and 3, unknown people broke into our cellar,” Case Basse’s owner Gianfranco Soldera said in a statement posted on the winery’s website today. The intruders “opened the valves of 10 barrels of six vintages of future Brunello di Montalcino” through 2012.
Brunello, one of Italy’s best known and most expensive red wines, is made exclusively with Sangiovese grapes according to standards set in 1888 for the producers. The wine is aged in oak casks for five years before it can be drunk.
No bottle was stolen in the Case Basse’s cellar in what former insurance broker Soldera said was “an extremely serious act of deliberate crime,” according to the statement. The loss of the wine results in “considerable economic damage.”
“It’s premature to estimate the exact loss as we will have to calculate with our insurers,” Soldera said in a telephone interview from his home in Montalcino, 70 miles (113 kilometers) southwest of Florence. “At present, I myself sell the bottles of the most recent year, 2006, for 110 euros each.”
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