Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Pichon Lalande and Steak at Janko's Little Zagreb Bloomington

Pichon Lalande and Steak at Janko's Little Zagreb in Bloomington, Indiana

Continuing our sojourn to Bloomington, Indiana for a college reunion gathering, we dined at the local legendary steak house Janko's Little Zagreb

Not fancy or pretentious, sited in a rustic old building just off the courthouse square, its boisterous dining room with the red and white checkerboard table clothes and Indiana sports memorabilia on the walls, (as well as their near decade of Wine Spectator Awards), Zagreb's is just good steak (and seafood) with a surprisingly intriguing and respectable wine list. They offer about 100 carefully selected bottles and a dozen wines by the glass - W-B-T-G. 

Very seldom will I find a winelist that offers no less than a half dozen choices that I am eager to try, that are also good winelist values.

Our two dinners in town, we hit both notable winelist dining establishments in Bloomington, Truffles Restaurant & Wine Bar, last night, and then tonight. 

A Bloomington institution since 1973, Janko's is an ideal reunion gathering place that we strive to dine at  every time we return to Bloomington, and it never disappoints. 

Mark S and I ordered Rib-eye steaks, which were served classic Pittsburgh style, Jane had lobster tail, and Linda ordered the grilled salmon. Everyone's entree was high quality and perfectly prepared. 

Prior to dinner we had the featured dinner salads. Afterwards we had both of the two available desserts, their regular Creamy 'New York Style' Cheesecake, and their Cheesecake 'Special', a decadent Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake.

To accompany our steak course I ordered from the winelist this legendary Bordeaux, one of my favorite labels, and a repeat, mini-vertical of sorts of the bottle we had a few days earlier at our spectacular gala Pour Boys Wine Dinner at Del Ray Beach Wine Kitchen. I should note this was my third choice from the winelist but when my first two selections were sold out, I opted for this special bottle. 

As I wrote the other night, we toured the estate grounds and vineyards during our Bordeaux trip year before last. 

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac 2006

This wine is capable of being so long lived and goes through such a transformation over the decades, it is an adventure tasting at so many different stages of its life. 

At fifteen years years, the fill level, label and cork were perfect, this is likely at the apex of its drinking window, not likely to improve further, but will certainly age gracefully and transform with character as it is capable of cellaring for another two decades or more. 

This is a classic Pauillac, Bordeaux, a standout in a somewhat challenging vintage - a real delight to taste, especially with a superbly prepared steak and baked potato. 

This is my favorite and most memorable Pauillac over the ages. I still remember my first Pichon, a gift from business colleague, Jerry G from Southfield, MI, when he presented me with a bottle of the 1978 vintage back upon release during one of my trips there. I didn't fully appreciate then how classic and thoughtful that gift was! 

This release was awarded 95 points by Vinous, 94 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast, 93 points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar and Decanter, and 92 points by Wine Spectator

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, powerful and intense yet nicely balanced and superbly integrated blackberry and black cherry fruits with sprites of anise, smoke, dark chocolate,  clove spice and notes of violets, tobacco leaf and hints of truffles, with round full dusty fine grained tannins on a long polished finish. 

RM 94 points. 



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