Guide Hachette des Vins, 2011
Prieuré de Saint-Jean de Bébian 2004
Finding in 2007 a 2004 white with such staying power it can still wait a bit really goes to show how winemakers can get the most from their terroir. In this wine, elegance rivals with intensity; it is a luminous gold with aromas of hazelnut, vanilla, honey and beeswax; the mouth is rounded and powerful, revealing delightful liveliness. La Chapelle de Bébian white (€8 to €11) wins a star: it is more discreet (but the vines are younger) so should be enjoyed sooner.
La Chapelle de Bébian 2009 WHITE (1 star)
The estate changed hands in 2009 but the wine master and tradition have carried on, for which we can only be grateful. Planted on Miocene lake limestone, the grenache, roussanne and clairette have concentrated juices owing to very low yields. The wine is a bright gold with complex aromas blending a touch of toast with floral and citrus notes. The mouth is fresh and elegant, ideal with grilled red mullet.
Revue du Vins de France
In the difficult years (1996, 1997, 2000, 2002) Bébian showed that it knew what it was about by being drastically selective, hence the introduction of a second wine, La Chapelle de Bébian. The wines: with the total frankness of its fruit and the freshness of almond, La Chapelle white 2007 is fully in line with the new identity of modern Languedoc white table wines and is very good value for money. The Bébian 2006 Grande Cuvée is upheld by its stay in the oak which gives it opulence, vanilla and delicate acidity. This vintage is already very enjoyable so we should make the most of it in the next two years. Of the recent red vintages, the dense, sunny 2005 is still open but by the end of 2009 will have closed as do all Bébian wines, like the “cold” 2004 when we tasted it in spring 2008. Leave it in the cellar till 2010. Before bottling, the 2006 with its aromas of bay leaf and liquorice is fairly open, with softer, chewier tannins than the last three vintages had.
Terre de Vins. 14 July 2010
Since the estate was taken over, some in-depth work has been done by Karen in the vineyard and the winery and by Pierre-Etienne on the management side. The Prieuré is having a makeover and day by day is coming back into its heritage. It has a lot of other projects to give it a new lease of life and is thinking of offering guestrooms. The wines are already lining up and we’ll be seeing the results this year.
Gault & Millau, 2010
Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian red 2008: Still in the barrel, the 2008 is letting us into its secrets of leather and warm earth. The mouth is dense with the right amount of depth to take it through the next decade.
Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian white 2007: The south comes visiting with its fragrance of nectarine, garrigue and thyme. The mouth has a texture with a coaxing delicate saltiness just right for sunny dishes.
Terre de Vins, 2010
A new departure for the famous Pézenas estate and a new wine deliberately designed to be easier going, even though it is still made by the in-house oenologist Karen Turner. La Croix de Bébian Coteaux du Languedoc 2007 has won over our taste-buds with its fresh fragrance of blackcurrant leaf, sun-dried tomato, basil, black olive and peppermint. The mouth follows suit and confirms the originality and freshness.
Revue des Vins de France 2011
La Chapelle de Bébian 2009 white is quite high in alcohol but beautifully built with a seductively salty depth. The Grande Cuvée 2008 is a lovely wine, clear-cut, carefully made and intense … In the reds, La Chapelle de Bébian 2007 offers notes of kirsch and blackcurrant …
Coteaux du Languedoc 2008 White – Mark: 16
La Chapelle de Bébian 2009 White – Mark: 15
Coteaux du Languedoc 2008 Red – Mark: 16,5
Coteaux du Languedoc 2006 Red – Mark: 15,5
La Chapelle de Bébian 2007 Red – Mark: 14,5
Le Grand Guide des Vins de France 2011 – Bettane & Desseauve
BEST WINE IN ALL CATEGORIES: Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian 2007 RED
Bébian is a rare expression of a classic Languedoc in its generosity and refinement and is above all a wine which will age in beauty. The white, predominately roussanne, is a vintage which counts a lot in the Languedoc. La Chapelle white has cut its big sister’s apron strings and plays the starlet. It is fresher and more incisive, qualities which appeal to many. The estate has recently been sold to an investment fund and the new technical team is not short of talent.
Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian 2008 RED = 17/20
The sample tasted needs to finish maturing. Everything seems to be in place and the wine, obviously a great one, has such lovely substance it will probably deserve a higher mark once it has been bottled.
Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian 2007 RED = 18/20
A great wine in a great year, 2007 gave Bébian a lovely complexity of structure and unusual aromas. The finish is beautifully full, spicy and amazingly juicy and is bound to stay in the mind.
Prieuré Saint-Jean de Bébian 2007 WHITE = 16.5/20
As is often the case, with more concentration but less freshness than the 2006, this 2007 shows itself astonishingly silky in the mouth. A highly elegant wine with loads of charm!
Chapelle de Bébian 2009 WHITE = 15/20 (under €15)
Lively and lemony with a touch of mineral to give it tension. The slightly bitter finish adds a special dimension.
Chapelle de Bébian 2007 RED = 16/20 (under €15)
The bothersome oakiness mentioned last year has softened up beautifully. The aromas have taken over and the nose is an outstanding one of floral essences and ripe raspberry which point to Burgundy origins. A hint of sweetness stamps this vintage with unbelievable charm.