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2018 La Chapelle de Bebian, Prieure de St. Jean Bebian, Languedoc

£21.25 inc. VAT

Splendidly elegant red from one of the Languedoc’s chicest wineries.

The estate has quite a pedigree with vineyards first planted here by Cistercian Monks in the 12th century, around the same time they built the chapel that gives this wine its name. In the 1970s the then owner and visionary, Alain Roux, planted new vines from buds taken from some of the finest producers in the Rhone (Chave & Rayas) as he was convinced he had the terroir to produce wine of a quality never previously seen in the Languedoc – he succeeded. The new owners bought the estate in 2006 and have invested hugely in a state of the art winery. Vineyards cover 30 acres and are divided in to 45 blocks with three different soil varieties.

The cuvée is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Mourvédre from organic vines of over 40 years old. Soils are river gravels which are the pudding stones famed by Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine is aged for 20 months in cement tanks, no oak, and this is where the purity of the fruit comes from. There’s no fining or filtering too so there’s minimal intervention from the vine to the bottle and when you have a ‘terroir’ like Prieure Saint Jean de Bebian that can only be a good thing.

Ripe aromas of black cherry, plum, blackcurrant with hints of earthy minerality. On the palate, it’s silky, poised and elegant with a brooding undercurrent of intensity, like the Brando of the Languedoc. Lovely now but will continue to drink beautifully for five years plus.


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