Lunch with Pjaines

28-50, Marylebone, London

Tasted October 31, 2012 by Paul S with 124 views

Introduction

I could not pass up the opportunity to grab a quick lunch with Pjaines before hopping a plane out of London on our last day. With E and Zhi in two, we had a really fun affair at 28-50, where a bottle of Clos de Beze hand-carried from Burgundy was paired with a solid Corton-Charlie from the wine list and a couple of glasses of Madeira to end. Best, of course, was the company - it was great catching up.

Flight 1 (3 notes)

White
2005 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
94 points
I thought this was really excellent, liking it rather more than Pjaines, who shared the bottle with us. It had a beautiful nose, with shades of flinty mineral and seashell playing alongside ripe fruited notes of apples and stone fruit, sweet accents of white flowers and vanilla and then more savoury aromas of smoked almond nuts. This had developed a bit of complexity and was really entrancing. The palate was perhaps just a bit more primary then the nose, but also quite lovely, with ripe, but really pure flavours of apples and a hint of sweet lemons, circling around a core of flinty mineral, creamy vanilla and juicy acidity. This was complete wine. Full, fleshy, intense, but brilliantly balanced all the way into a sappy finish underscored by bright citrus notes and more flinty mineral. With time, nice little tones of almonds and honey emerged to mingle with the fruit on the backpalate. Absolutely beautiful. I must add though that was rather advanced for such a youthful BdM Corton-Charlie, showing slight signs of tiring after half-an-hour in the bottle - I am not sure if it is the storage, the particular bottle or just the general aging curve on the wine. I am sure glad to have a few bottles of this at home - one of them will be popped in the not too distant future to gauge how far the rest should go.
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Red
1985 Antonin Rodet Chambertin-Clos de Bèze France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
94 points
A real treat - we caught it just a bit on the young side I thought, with the last pour being the best, but this was certainly an excellent bottle. It had a wonderful nose even when first popped, with lovely layers of mushrooms and earthy undergrowth, dried cherries and raspberries, some toasted spice notes, fragrant notes of dried flowers, and then a thin line of ferrous mineral. Beautiful. The palate was far less expressive straight from the bottle however, taking a good 30-45mins to open up, but was gorgeous when it did. Like the nose, this was the quintessential Clos de Bèze , with beautiful flavours of red cherries and dried raspberries sprinkled with spice, dried earth and a touch of dried roses. This was testament to the strength of the 1985 vintage as well, with fine, but still firm tannins and beautiful clear acidity ringing through its pure, ripe flavours before it finished with a nice linger of black tea. Beautiful for drinking now, but this could well age for another 10 years easily. Yum.
White - Fortified
1989 D'Oliveiras Madeira Sercial Colheita Portugal, Madeira
90 points
I enjoyed this at the end of our meal, but thought it was good without being anything special. The nose had a strange whiff of penicillin to it, which otherwise distracted from pleasant aromas of honeyed figs and raisins seasoned with a nice touch of spice. I liked the palate rather more. Fresh and lively as every good Madeira should be, it had yummy flavours of dried figs flecked with earth and cocoa, leading into a nicely balanced finish woven with a good bit of mineral and spice. Very pleasant, but just a touch on the simple side for me.