SWS Named Exclusive Distributor for Chateau Coufran
For Immediate Release                                      Contact: Mel Dick
                                                                            President-Wine Division/Senior Vice President
                                                                            Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
                                                                            Tel: (305) 625-4171



MIAMI - December 1, 2005 - Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 20 states and pending in one more, is proud to announce its appointment as the exclusive U.S. distributor for Château Coufran, according to Mel Dick, President-Wine Division/Senior Vice President, SWS of America.  The agreement was signed in Miami with Mel Dick, Eric Miailhe owner of Château Coufran, Pierre Lawton, President of ALIAS of Bordeaux, France and Christophe de la Fontaine, Export Director ALIAS, the latter enterprise is a leading global wine négociant.
Commenting on the new agreement, Mr. Dick said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Southern Wine & Spirits of America to continue to expand our Bordeaux wine business. Château Coufran is a high-quality wine estate and we are very pleased to represent them and gain a stronger presence in restaurants and wine shops across America.”
Château Coufran, a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, originated in the 18th century and has been owned by the Miailhe family since 1924. Located in the village of St. Seurin-de-Cadourne in Bordeaux’s famed Haut-Médoc region, the large 162 acre vineyard is well-situated on deep gravelly soil overlooking the Gironde River and neighboring St. Éstephe. The Miailhe’s have been in the Bordeaux wine business since 1818 and also own two other neighboring Cru Bourgeois Supérieur estates, Verdignan and Soudars. 

According to Mr. Dick, Château Coufran is unique for the Haut-Médoc in its varietal blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Typically, wines from this part of Bordeaux are based upon Cabernet Sauvignon, but Louis Miailhe, upon purchase of the estate in 1924, decided that he wanted a wine that was ready to drink at a younger age than a typical Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine. So in a somewhat revolutionary gesture, all of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines were removed and the entire vineyard was re-planted to Merlot, yielding a  full-bodied, but softer, earlier-drinking style of wine that has been very successful, as today the mature vineyard is still planted to 85% Merlot with a complementary 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Upon completion of the agreement signing, Eric Miailhe presented Mel Dick with one of his two remaining bottles of vintage 1945 Château Coufran, as a symbolic thank you to the Americans who helped liberate France from Nazi Germany in 1945.

Château Coufran will be available in all SWS markets beginning in January/February 2006, starting with the highly successful 2003 vintage, says Mr. Dick.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with operations soon to be in 21 states. The Company currently operates in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and, pending the close of the transaction, Mississippi. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members.

Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 (Archive on Tuesday, June 27, 2006)
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