Last week Haz asked if I wanted to go to the Bohemian for their Lagarde wine dinner. $60 for four courses and matched wines. Austerity, what austerity? I was in.
I must admit that I hadn’t heard of Lagarde before. Located in Mendoza at the foot of the Andes, the winery was founded in 1897 and has been run by the Pescarmona family since the 1970s. The winery retains many of its original elements such as the winery building that was built in 1897 and even an old vineyard that was planted by the original owners. The ancient vineyard has rows of malbec that are so close together that even now they must be tilled by mule and plow because modern equipment doesn’t fit.
We started with a taste of the Lagarde Altas Cumbres Torrontés. I don’t know much about torrontés, only that Argentina is pretty much the only country that produces it. I found it quite floral in aroma but drier on the palate.
The food match was sardines in Escabeche on foccacia with fresh grapes. The focaccia was crisp and garlicy, and a sprinkling of hot paprika gave the sardines a bit of smokiness and heat. The couple of fresh grapes also on the plate gave a bit of welcome sweetness. I really enjoyed it and Alastair declared this yum++.
Our next wine was the Lagarde Malbec. 100% Malbec grapes were used in this wine, which gave the wine a sweetness on the palate. This was matched with sweet potato gnocchi with walnuts, blue cheese sauce and fresh apple. The gnocchi was slightly chewy (in a pleasing way). It came in a very mild and creamy blue cheese sauce with thin slices of apple. Mhmmm. It was a shame the blue cheese was so mild because boy oh boy do I love blue cheese. Still, I decided this was also yum++.
The main course was slow cooked oxtail with mashed potato and chestnuts. The wine match was a Lagarde cabernet sauvignon. The oxtail was great – savoury and fall apart tender. My only criticism is that my mash was a touch cold.
Haz had chicken because she doesn’t eat beef.
And finally, for dessert we had a white chocolate brownie with fig ice cream, pears in syrup and toffee. This was matched with the Lagarde Late Harvest moscato. It was nice – sweet and honeyed. I really liked the brownie, particularly the crunchy crust and burnt toffee flavours which contrasted nicely with the spheres of crunchy pear.
It was a nice evening out – worth busting the budget for. Thanks for the arm twisting, Haz.
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Bohemian Bar & Restaurant
35 Dukes Walk
Phone: 03 9682 0566