Chateau Montelena and Chateau Cos d'Estournel Jointly Announce Proposed Acquisition

Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:44pm EDT

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Close of Sale Pending Regulatory Approval
CALISTOGA, Calif.--(Business Wire)--
Michel Reybier, owner of Chateau Cos d'Estournel
(, grand cru classe of Saint-Estephe, today
announced that he is in discussion with Chateau Montelena's founder,
Jim Barrett, to acquire the Chateau Montelena Winery in Napa Valley,
pending regulatory approval. Chateau Montelena is known as one of the
world's greatest wine estates and is famous for having won the
renowned Paris Tasting of 1976.

   "The Reybier and Barrett families share a relentless pursuit of
quality," said Michel Reybier. "More than anything else, great wine is
about place. These two estates are 7,000 miles apart, but share many
common qualities and experiences. This is a merging of that experience
and both estates will continue to improve over time."

   The Barrett family acquired Chateau Montelena in 1972 and
transformed this 125 year-old wine estate into what has been called an
American first growth. "This is a perfect fit - a dream marriage,"
said Jim Barrett. "We could not have asked for a finer team to carry
on this legacy."

   Bo Barrett, who has made the wines at Chateau Montelena since
1982, will continue to provide the essential knowledge and experience
gained from 35 years of living and working on the estate. Bo Barrett
said, "Michel Reybier understands that it takes time and continuity to
learn the true qualities of each place. He understands the importance
of continuity, commitment, and experience in making world-class wine."

   The similarities between Chateau Montelena and Cos d'Estournel are
notable: Both Michel Reybier and Jim Barrett acquired historic wine
estates and led them through a renaissance. Both estates are known for
their exceptional and distinctive terroir, and both produce
world-class wines with unique characteristics that distinguish them in
their respective regions.

   Chateau Montelena was first established in 1882, and by 1896 it
was the 7th largest winery in Napa Valley and well known for its
quality. After going through a number of owners, the estate had been
substantially abandoned when the Barrett family acquired it in 1972
and created one of Napa Valley's great wine estates. Under the
management of Jim Barrett and his son Bo, Chateau Montelena has
consistently garnered top accolades from the world's wine and is
well-known for its exceptional terroir and its consistency of style
and grace from year to year. Also famous for its Chardonnay, the 1973
vintage won the famous international wine tasting known as "The
Judgment of Paris," which put Napa Valley on the map as a world-class
winemaking region.

Fineman PR
Lorna Bush, 415-392-1000

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