IO 2004 Red Blend

91% Syrah, 4% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre; 14.5% ABV
Santa Barbara County, CA
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 9 Apr

2004_IO_GSMOn the first night, until it aired about 1:40, had a weird flavor that I could best describe as new black tire rubber.  This seemed to air out to make a pretty good wine for $5: dark cherry, boysenberry, redder blueberry, black raspberry, a little charred meat. A little heavy and inelegant, slightly low acid, but tasty.   If you liked the 2005 IO red blend, you’d like this too.

On initial opening, I saved half of it in a 375ml bottle closed with a stopper and very little air.  At first, the second half showed that weird black rubber but this aired out after about 30 – 45 minutes.  After slightly longer, the heaviness of the wine relaxes to leave a more supple wine tasting of lighter purple plum, purplish cherry, black olive, redder blueberry, a little ripe blackberry, dark aromatic spice, and charred meat.  It still seems not really in balance, but I’m not sure how to say what’s wrong with it.  Still, for $5, it’s a pretty impressive wine.

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14 thoughts on “IO 2004 Red Blend

  1. Seedboy

    I opened another bottle of this 2004 tonight. Damn it is drinking nicely, and it still has a way to go. Dark fruit with a red raspberry finish, nice acidity, tannins still not resolved. I will conserve my last few bottles while I drink through other GO rhonish wines.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      If my memory serves me correctly, the 2004 and 2005 IO red blends were part of the Fall 2013 sale. Just had the 2004 and the tannins haven’t bothered me.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        The 2004 that I bought was at least 4 years ago. When the other IO wines became available (might have been fall 2013) I heard there was more 2004 but never saw any. Just bought a mess of the 2005, and the Upper Bench syrah, and the grenache. I need to tuck into one of those 05s soon.

        Reply
  2. seedboy

    I bought a mess of this wine when it appeared in Oakland two or three years ago. I opened a bottle recently and did not detect that off flavor. I think the 05 is a more complete wine but would have bought more of this if I’d seen it.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Bought some in the Fall of 2013 and just had a bottle with BBQed venison ribs and the aforementioned flavor of rubber tires is more noticeable in the nose for me. It is drinking well and nothing to worry about.

      Reply
  3. Jim H

    I was in Richmond store during the sale, Roberto mentioned that he had had 14 cases but it was long gone. Never saw it in Oakland/Berkeley/San Pablo/Pinole so figure it’s gone. Anyone know what happened to IO? I looked around on the web, the website is dead and the Google Map for the place shows what appears to be a winery but with no signage.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Jim. Yes, I was in the Richmond store on the first morning of the sale and people were hauling away cases of this wine. I never saw it at Berkeley or Oakland, but I didn’t get to Oakland until Friday.

      Reply
      1. Seedboy

        The founder and winemaker of Byron was Ken Brown. Pinot and Chardonnay mostly. IO was his rhonish label. Given the pricing structure, probably not a “second label” in the sense normally used in the wine business.

        Reply
        1. Expat

          Yeah, this is from Byron, which is a very respected producer around here. I was told I/O a project that was eventually abandoned. Not a budget offering by any means. I believe it was a $45 bottle at release. I think the review is spot on and with some air it really opens up. A lot of deep, brooding elements that I enjoy. I knew the supply at our GO wouldn’t last but without tasting I only bought 4. Long gone by the end of the sale.

          Reply
          1. Seedboy

            As GO shoppers know, syrah-based wines are a tough sell at retail. We reap the benefits. I opened a bottle of this last night. I did not get the burnt rubber thing. My criticism of this wine is it is slightly lacking in acid.

            Reply
    1. PW

      We just recently had a bit of the Syrah at the Corvallis store. I didn’t buy any because (at least at this point) I don’t really like Syrah on it’s own. That was the only one I’ve seen locally.

      Reply

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