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Prieuré de St Jean de Bébian

  One day last summer, I wandered into the rather smart tasting room at St Jean de Bebian the other day and struck lucky. The new owner, Benoit Pontenier, had just returned from holiday and had time to spare for a tasting.   It was early August and I think he was under-staffed.   He also explained that he had literally just acquired    the property, which the Russian owners had made over to a neutral party, so that it could be sold.   It had entailed five months of negotiations and he had signed the deal the previous   Saturday   Even though the Pumpyansky family are strongly against Putin, their assets would be seized in France.   I had not tasted at Bébian since Karen Turner was making the wine.   She left in 2018.   In fact she and Benoit had worked together since 2011. but he was essentially the estate manager rather than the wine maker.   Benoit studied in Bordeaux and then Montpellier, and then worked in Australia for a year before setting up as a consultant, which brought him to

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