MAXEM Wines

Sam Kaplan is one of the most in-demand winemakers in Northern California, producing epic wines for Arkenstone Estate, Vangone, and Memento Mori to name a few cutting-edge wineries. Now, his own MAXEM single-vineyard Sonoma Chardonnays and Pinots are setting a new, very high benchmark!

Story

Sam, in his winemaking career, has been on the ground floor of some of Napa Valley’s most exciting wine projects in recent history, helping to plant vineyards, build wineries and cement reputations with wines that speak of the unparalleled sites in which they’re grown.

Nancy, as a chef, spent years in top restaurants in New York and Napa Valley, honing her craft and her palate beside celebrated chefs who demanded nothing less than perfection.

In their own words, they’ve had wonderful mentors, and access to exceptional raw materials. But now they are applying all this experience and learning to their own wine project – MAXEM.

Vineyards

The U.V. Vineyard, on the Sonoma Coast, is a site well-known to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fanatics. Sam and Nancy tasted wines from this vineyard several times, and decided to see if they could purchase some of its fruit. The site wasn’t the only thing attractive about U.V., although its coastal location, well-drained soils, and meticulous farming protocol are precisely what we sought. It was the late, great Ulises Valdez himself – an immigrant who worked for others for decades before striking out on his own – who drew Sam and Nancy to this place. His story resonated with them; after spending a lot of time in other vineyards, this was the one that felt right.

The Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The wine made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: the Pinot Noir a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouth-watering acidity, and rich, polished tannins. 2019 was MAXEM’s first vintage.

Winemaking

Sam Kaplan is the first-choice winemaker for a growing number prestigious Napa Estates including Arkenstone Estate, Memento Mori, Vangone Estate, and Nine Suns (recently purchased by Realm Cellars), as well as producing his own brand, Maxem.

After 20+ vintages in the Napa Valley, Sam often reflects on what first got him interested in and then passionate about winemaking and the culture of wine as a way of life. He goes back to one day in college when he walked into a friend’s winery in Oregon and was overcome with the aromas of fermentation. It was a pivotal moment. “It smelled like home, and reminded me of my early childhood”, he says. Sam remembers his physician dad and friends making wine in their garage. Although he jokingly calls his dad “an early garagiste,” he remembers how wine, the intensity of aromas with fermentation, pulled family and friends together.

Latest arrivals from MAXEM Wines

2021 MAXEM, U.V. Lucky Well Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 12x75cl

RP95+
Blend: 100% Chardonnay Vintage production: 130 cases MAXEM is all about precision, ultra-focused winemaking, and celebrating the finest terroir of the Sonoma Coast at the hands of winemaker Sam... Kaplan. The wines are elegant, pure, remarkably balanced wines loaded with tension and energy, that have knocked us off our seats every time we've tasted them. They're as close in class to the Grand Crus of Burgundy we've ever experienced in California, while maintaining their unmistakable Sonoma DNA. 2021 is MAXEM's first ever vintage from the legendary U.V. Lucky Well Vineyard . This site sits atop a knoll on the western edge of the Sebastopol hills outside of the towns of Graton and Sebastopol. The area is home to some of the most highly acclaimed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards in the Russian River Valley due in large part to the perfect confluence of soil, climate, and elevation. The vineyard is in an area often referred to as the “banana belt” of the Russian River Valley because, though on the very coolest, foggiest, and western edge of the appellation, it sits on a knoll that rises above the fog line. This feature exposes the fruit to more gentle sunlight, which allows very slow and even ripening across the entire growing season. Four Corners Wine: "This debut release of U.V. Lucky Well Chardonnay is sublime. There's a beautiful note of reduction on the nose bringing notes a struck flint, leading to aromas of dried tarragon, an insane level of minerality, and a sense of ultra-purity. So impressive. The palate is just amazing, with so much concentration and energy, and phenomenal energy. It's all about texture, minerality, with laser-focused fruit. Simply brilliant - epic." (Sept. 2023)
£900 / Case£75 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £1,125.50 / Case, £93.79 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2021 MAXEM, U.V. Lucky Well Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 1x75cl

RP95+
Blend: 100% Chardonnay Vintage production: 130 cases MAXEM is all about precision, ultra-focused winemaking, and celebrating the finest terroir of the Sonoma Coast at the hands of winemaker Sam... Kaplan. The wines are elegant, pure, remarkably balanced wines loaded with tension and energy, that have knocked us off our seats every time we've tasted them. They're as close in class to the Grand Crus of Burgundy we've ever experienced in California, while maintaining their unmistakable Sonoma DNA. 2021 is MAXEM's first ever vintage from the legendary U.V. Lucky Well Vineyard . This site sits atop a knoll on the western edge of the Sebastopol hills outside of the towns of Graton and Sebastopol. The area is home to some of the most highly acclaimed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards in the Russian River Valley due in large part to the perfect confluence of soil, climate, and elevation. The vineyard is in an area often referred to as the “banana belt” of the Russian River Valley because, though on the very coolest, foggiest, and western edge of the appellation, it sits on a knoll that rises above the fog line. This feature exposes the fruit to more gentle sunlight, which allows very slow and even ripening across the entire growing season. Four Corners Wine: "This debut release of U.V. Lucky Well Chardonnay is sublime. There's a beautiful note of reduction on the nose bringing notes a struck flint, leading to aromas of dried tarragon, an insane level of minerality, and a sense of ultra-purity. So impressive. The palate is just amazing, with so much concentration and energy, and phenomenal energy. It's all about texture, minerality, with laser-focused fruit. Simply brilliant - epic." (Sept. 2023)
£77 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £96.19 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2022 MAXEM, Silver Eagle Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 12x75cl

RP95
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir Vintage production: 300 cases MAXEM is all about precision, ultra-focused winemaking, and celebrating the finest terroir of the Sonoma Coast at the hands of winemaker Sam... Kaplan. The wines are elegant, pure, remarkably balanced wines loaded with tension and energy, that have knocked us off our seats every time we've tasted them. They're as close in class to the Grand Crus of Burgundy we've ever experienced in California, while maintaining their unmistakable Sonoma DNA. Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The Pinot Noir made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouth-watering acidity, and rich, polished tannins. Four Corners Wine: "Fantastic from the outset - so refined on the nose, super concentrated with a core full of gorgeous top notes of grilled herbs and dried meadow flowers, a great streak of savoury earthiness, almost a touch of white truffle. Complex and delicious. The palate is stunning, showing real depth, intensity, and tension. The structure and texture are great, filled with darker berries and great acidity. Lovely purity and great a great profile and sense of balance. Powerful, yet a Pinot of total grace. Gorgeous." (Sept. 2023)
£990 / Case£82.50 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £1,233.50 / Case, £102.79 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

2022 MAXEM, Silver Eagle Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 1x75cl

RP95
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir Vintage production: 300 cases MAXEM is all about precision, ultra-focused winemaking, and celebrating the finest terroir of the Sonoma Coast at the hands of winemaker Sam... Kaplan. The wines are elegant, pure, remarkably balanced wines loaded with tension and energy, that have knocked us off our seats every time we've tasted them. They're as close in class to the Grand Crus of Burgundy we've ever experienced in California, while maintaining their unmistakable Sonoma DNA. Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The Pinot Noir made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouth-watering acidity, and rich, polished tannins. Four Corners Wine: "Fantastic from the outset - so refined on the nose, super concentrated with a core full of gorgeous top notes of grilled herbs and dried meadow flowers, a great streak of savoury earthiness, almost a touch of white truffle. Complex and delicious. The palate is stunning, showing real depth, intensity, and tension. The structure and texture are great, filled with darker berries and great acidity. Lovely purity and great a great profile and sense of balance. Powerful, yet a Pinot of total grace. Gorgeous." (Sept. 2023)
£84 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £104.59 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days

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