$1.7 Million Worth Of Wine Is Still Missing After A 9-Month Chase

Good wine can make you do crazy things, a sentiment that proved to be accurate for two fugitives on the run since October. Following the theft of $1.7 million worth of highly-prized wines, Reuters reports that a former Mexican beauty queen and her accomplice have finally been arrested at the Croatian border — but, the wine is yet to resurface.

The arrest comes after a 9-month chase across Europe after the theft was first reported by the sommeliers of Atrio, a Spanish Michelin-starred restaurant, and hotel known for their innovative cuisine and world-renowned cellar. Boasting the wines of big and brands alike, Atrio has been painstakingly curating its impressive wine selection for years. That's why it came as a shock when some of the cellar's most famous bottles were missing.

While initially thought to be the work of a gang, police now confirm that the robbery can be traced to a couple. According to The Drinks Business, the 29-year-old Mexican woman had distracted waiters by ordering room service after hours, while her 47-year-old male co-conspirator snuck into the cellar using a stolen key from a previous visit, before filling three backpacks with bottles. Using fake documents, the pair were able to vanish for months.

No word on the wine's whereabouts

Among the nearly 50 bottles missing, Wine Spectator reports that several rare bottles of Burgundy's Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Sauternes are gone, but most shockingly are the stolen bottles of Château d'Yquem, one of which dates back to 1806 and is valued at $665,000.

With no word on the whereabouts of the wine, the heist continues to leave many wondering where the prestigious bottles could be. However, given the rarity of the bottles, co-owner and sommelier José Polo explains that thieves might have a hard time selling the bottles. Polo speculates that the bottles could have been stolen by a private collector, whose collection will most likely continue to remain private, reports Decanter.

That said, Atlas Obscura is also quick to remind us that the wine world isn't always clear cut — with doctoring of documents, any black market wine has the ability to end up at auction. While the police continue to investigate, the longer the case drags on the bleaker the situation appears. Could the bottles eventually resurface or have these iconic bottles been lost forever?