The 2005 Echezeaux delivers ravishingly sweet, high-toned aromas of black raspberry, maraschino, marzipan, marmalade and iodine. It saturates the palate with sweet, ripe fruit and inner-mouth perfume, while introducing layers of fresh meat and shrimp-shell minerality. The texture is amazingly creamy and polished, and the long, refined finish adds an alluring hint of mocha. Superb saturation of ultra-ripe fruit but with freshness; remarkable concentration yet elegance, lift, indeed near weightlessness: this is 2005 at its best. The temptation to drink this in its early years will, I suspect, be irresistible ... let’s hope so anyway. It would be a shame for this beauty to be locked away as a collectible, even if it is capable of long-aging. Once the grapes in these fabled vineyards had reached a potential alcohol of 13%, reports Aubert de Villaine, he was ready to pick, because conditions had seldom been so conducive to perfect ripeness (including that of the stems). It was all done in a week, commencing with La Tache and Romanee Conti, and finishing on September 23 with Romanee-St.-Vivant (and Montrachet, on which I shall report at a future date).