Brutal wine robbery in a Michelin-star Madrid restaurant

by Lorraine Williamson
wine robbery
del canto chambers 2

MADRID – 132 bottles of wine worth approximately €200,000 were taken from the cellar during a robbery of the exclusive Michelin-starred restaurant Coque in Madrid on Sunday morning. 

Run by the Sandoval brothers (already the third generation), the restaurant is located in the upscale Chambería district of the Spanish capital. Police sources said the thieves entered Chief Mario Sandoval’s premises from a locked pharmacy next door. 

Premium wine robbery

The National Police is investigating the break-in and suspects that it was a carefully planned robbery. According to them, it seems that the thieves carefully studied how to enter the property and the wine cellar. And, moreover, to take the most expensive premium wines. Apart from the bottles of wine, nothing is missing. Therefore, the police conclude that the thieves were purely interested in the expensive wines. 

Rafael Sandoval, the restaurant’s sommelier and Mario’s brother, explained in the ‘Espejo Público’ program on Antena 3 that the attackers first tried to make a hole in the wall of the adjacent building. “Unable to, they went to a patio we share with the pharmacy and broke the glass to enter the cellar.” 

The thieves also took advantage of the fact that the Michelin-starred restaurant was closed on Sundays and Mondays to commit the robbery. Furthermore, they must have known the pharmacy, on Calle Fortuny, has been closed for a month because the owner retired. The attackers were able to circumvent the Coque restaurant’s advanced alarm and security system to carry out the attack. 

Cumbre Villas

The restaurant owners, brothers Mario, Juan Diego and Rafael Sandoval, made the police report on Tuesday afternoon.

Hugely valuable bodega 

The Coque winery is considered one of the most valuable in Spain. This is due to the tremendous value of the wines it stocks – some 25,000 bottles – and offers on its menu. Known as ‘The Sacristy’, it houses an 1805 Trafalgar carboy, unique in the world. Some bottles have been in the family for three generations. 

Sandoval explained that several of the wine bottles are unique on the market and some took more than 40 years to acquire. The brothers have also warned industry colleagues to take maximum precautions. They suspect that there is a specialized group of thieves in this type of high-value merchandise. In October last year, 45 bottles of wine worth €1.6 million were stolen from the Atrio de Cáceres restaurant. 

The police are investigating the case. In the meantime, the owners of the restaurant hope the thieves are caught and they can recover some of the very unique bottles. 

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