Every September Flemings prime steakhouse & wine bar introduces a plethora of new wines to their already robust wine list. Flemings boasts 100 wines by glass and this year they added or changed out over 60 new wines (too many to list here). I had the pleasure of dining at Flemings this October to re-familiarize myself with their wine list and also re-sample their fabulous Prime steak!
After a quick peruse of the menu my guest and I settled on the “wicked Cajun shrimp” appetizer which consisted of lightly breaded shrimp in a spicy creamy sauce. Of course, the fresh baked bread and butter came along as well. We were careful not to fill up on bread because as anyone who frequents a prime steakhouse knows, you have to save space for that steak!
I ordered the Filet Mignon. The most tender of all steaks. When ordering we asked our server to what extent a medium rare was medium rare. She explained that if I normally enjoyed medium rare, then tonight I would probably enjoy medium rare plus. I’m pretty sure if you order medium rare plus at most steak houses they’ll say “plus what? plus a baked potato?”
I have to say, and this is not because the meal was complimentary*, THIS was the best tasting steak I’d eaten all year. And I eat a lot of steak. Just slightly crisped on the outside, juicy pink on the inside, still on the rare side, but not blue or cool on the interior, just absolutely perfect!
To compliment the steak, I had to choose a wine. With 100 wines by the glass to choose from this because a difficult task. Once again our server came to the rescue and recommend a wine flight. Any 3 of the 100 wines by the glass can be on the wine flight. So I chose Kelly Fleming’s Napa Valley cabernet, Ladera Napa Valley and Hall Napa Valley.
Kelly Fleming, wife of Paul Fleming-founder of Flemings and PF Changs, made a really nice cabernet. It was the ripest and smoothest of the three. Next up was the Ladera, 2009 Napa Valley. Ladera’s Howell Mountain Cabernet is one of my favorite and I was interested to see how their Napa Valley selection compared. Well it stood up just fine. Not as much of the tart rich mountain fruit as their Howell Mountain offering – much more of the ripe valley floor, and classic “napa earth”. It’s difficult to describe this, when I’m not actually a “professional” wine writer, but it’s just something you’ll know after you’ve experienced enough Napa cabernets. You put your nose in the glass, and you immediately know you’re in Napa.
The Hall 2009 Napa Valley, was the biggest and boldest of the three. Which by the time I was halfway through my steak and sautéed mushrooms was exactly what I needed. This wine powered through everything and excited my already overloaded palate. Rich, smooth, intense cocoa, casis and spice, I would say this wine is a great value even at restaurant prices.
Once again, a visit to Flemings never disappoints, the only disappointing thing was not having enough room to enjoy desert!
*Disclosure: This meal was provided by Flemings