Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

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Marshall Manning
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Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#1 Post by Marshall Manning »

We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#2 Post by JulianD »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#3 Post by Bdklein »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
This is way too short/boring
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#4 Post by Matthew Brown »

Bdklein wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:18 am
Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
This is way too short/boring
Always thought this was self-effacing of him.... newhere
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#5 Post by John Morris »

JulianD wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:16 am
Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
Once you write enough notes, the space bar on your keyboard breaks
I keep offering to replace his keyboard, but noooooo.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#6 Post by Hal Blumberg »

Tom is the critic of choice for wines you've never heard of and wines that you have no interest in drinking. He will subtly convince you otherwise. Keep it up Tom!

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Sorry....

#7 Post by TomHill »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?
[scratch.gif]
Sorry, Marshall....you're SOL. I barely understand myself.

They installed training wheels on my computer. It allows only so many " blanks" per post. To get around that, I use /// instead.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#8 Post by Jim Stewart »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
I think Tom models his writing style after James Joyce . . .
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#9 Post by Steve Costigan »

He’s a great guy. Incredibly knowledgeable. And I actually really appreciate his forays into regions/wines that I otherwise wouldn’t try, at least most of the time!
“I’ve never had a wine that had too much oak”

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#10 Post by Armando Basarrate »

Tom Hill's commentary is one of the top 5 reasons to come to the Wine Berserkers board. Thank you, Tom.

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#11 Post by larry schaffer »

Tom is one of the most knowledgable passionate person I have ever met - and not just on the topic of wines. Ask him about heritage pigs! He gives Daryl Corti a run for his money as often as possible - and holds his own.

The cool thing about folks like Tom and Blake Brown and a few others - they continue to give of their time and knowledge, and for this, I am forever grateful.

Cheers.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#12 Post by AndyK »

Why are his TstngNts/cmmtns/imprssns/thghts so difficult to read?! [cheers.gif]
k0berl | IG: @glou.sf

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Thanks..

#13 Post by TomHill »

Armando Basarrate wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:57 am Tom Hill's commentary is one of the top 5 reasons to come to the Wine Berserkers board. Thank you, Tom.
Thanks, Armando....I very much appreciate the compliment. I won't ask about the other 4 reasons!! flirtysmile
I like to expand my horizons, learn new things, try new wines...and then post on them. Just sorta inquisitive on things vinous.
Oftentimes, the wines are pretty obscure and most people will never encounter them, or have never encountered them.
So much of the time, there are no responses. But I pay attention to the Number of Views and note that there are plenty of
persons reading my TN's. It always helps that they are short/boring. So that makes my labor of love worth doing.
Tom

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#14 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

What's with the bloody pulpit?
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#15 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Certain Monktown attorneys have a dim view of Mr. Hill. [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#16 Post by John Morris »

Steve Costigan wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:52 am He’s a great guy. Incredibly knowledgeable. And I actually really appreciate his forays into regions/wines that I otherwise wouldn’t try, at least most of the time!
In the words of Berserker Oliver McCrum, "He's a force for good."
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#17 Post by MikeHill »

AndyK wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:07 am Why are his TstngNts/cmmtns/imprssns/thghts so difficult to read?! [cheers.gif]
Oh, get off your wee Bloody Pulpit! neener champagne.gif

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Nope...

#18 Post by TomHill »

larry schaffer wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:00 am Tom is one of the most knowledgable passionate person I have ever met - and not just on the topic of wines. Ask him about heritage pigs! He gives Daryl Corti a run for his money as often as possible - and holds his own.

The cool thing about folks like Tom and Blake Brown and a few others - they continue to give of their time and knowledge, and for this, I am forever grateful.

Cheers.
Nope, Larry....I don't hold a candle to DarrellCorti. The depth & breadth of Darrell's knowledge always amazes me. He once came to NM
to speak at a SloFoods event on...get this...asparagus!! With all the details on why your pee smells so much after you've eaten it.
He held the audience in the palm of his hand, spellbound, for well over an hour. I've always said that if Darrell went into Physics instead of
becoming a mere grocer....he would have won a Nobel prize long ago. No way am I in Darrell's league.
Tom

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#19 Post by Peter Kleban »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:17 am What's with the bloody pulpit?
That's easy. It's wee. :-)

More seriously, Tom's time and efforts are really something. WB is enriched, and we get to hear about many out-of-the-way wines. From a fellow physicist, keep on keeping on, Tom!
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#20 Post by Gabe Berk »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
It took me a year+ to decipher the slashes and repeating descriptors over and over again in respect to aroma and taste. Keep them coming Tom!!! champagne.gif

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#21 Post by Kevin Porter »

Why on earth has "missouri outhouse" not made critic bingo?
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#22 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

Who here tried the Turley “Smoot-Hawley” vineyard white zin before Tom posted a TN on it? No one, that’s who.

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#23 Post by Sean Devaney »

Tom has expanded my knowledge of wine more than any other source I have come across in my journey to becoming a wino. On top of this he is a true gentleman and was very friendly and open the one time I met him in person years ago at a Rhone Rangers tasting when I spotted his signature dump bucket and introduced myself. He may say his posts are long/short and boring but rarely are. The BP are an incredible source of info and history. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#24 Post by Eric White »

...
Last edited by Eric White on July 21st, 2021, 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#25 Post by Anton D »

That weirdo uses more slashes than Michael Myers.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#26 Post by Marshall Manning »

Steve Costigan wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:52 am He’s a great guy. Incredibly knowledgeable. And I actually really appreciate his forays into regions/wines that I otherwise wouldn’t try, at least most of the time!
Oh, I agree. I just thought if all of the other big-time critics had their own thread, then Tom should too champagne.gif !
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#27 Post by Steve Costigan »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 2:25 pm
Steve Costigan wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:52 am He’s a great guy. Incredibly knowledgeable. And I actually really appreciate his forays into regions/wines that I otherwise wouldn’t try, at least most of the time!
Oh, I agree. I just thought if all of the other big-time critics had their own thread, then Tom should too champagne.gif !
Capo di tutti capi he is.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#28 Post by Marshall Manning »

Sean Devaney wrote: July 21st, 2021, 1:15 pm Tom has expanded my knowledge of wine more than any other source I have come across in my journey to becoming a wino. On top of this he is a true gentleman and was very friendly and open the one time I met him in person years ago at a Rhone Rangers tasting when I spotted his signature dump bucket and introduced myself. He may say his posts are long/short and boring but rarely are. The BP are an incredible source of info and history. [cheers.gif]
Very true, Sean. Lest anyone think I was picking on Tom, we've shared wine before and traded tasting notes and jokes online longer than either of us probably want to admit. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#29 Post by G. Greenbaum »

Mr. Hill’s spittoon at tastings is something to behold. I wonder if he holds a patent?
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#30 Post by Scott Brunson »

Jim Stewart wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:34 am
Marshall Manning wrote: July 21st, 2021, 10:01 am We know he's been following them all from the very start. But what's up with all the slashes?

[scratch.gif]
I think Tom models his writing style after James Joyce . . .
#LongBoring? [wink.gif]
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Well...

#31 Post by TomHill »

G. Greenbaum wrote: July 21st, 2021, 5:05 pm Mr. Hill’s spittoon at tastings is something to behold. I wonder if he holds a patent?
It does stand out in a crowd!!
It's available from CampMor and is a dual-use utensil for pilots of small aircraft flying cross-country and who don't care for the blowback of
peeing out the window.
I can't use the alternative usage, though. Too small I tell folks!!
Tom

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Sorry...

#32 Post by TomHill »

D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: July 21st, 2021, 1:10 pm Who here tried the Turley “Smoot-Hawley” vineyard white zin before Tom posted a TN on it? No one, that’s who.
Sorry, Dave..... Smoot-Hawley was a tariff act that caused a lot of damage to the US economy.
It was the Turley Hoot-Smalley White Zin that you were thinking about. It was a legend in its time.
TomHill wrote: Turley Napa Valley White Zinfandel Hoot-Smalley Vineyard (18.7%) '97: Black pink/salmon very dusty color; elegant dusty/old vines perfumed dusty cranberry toasty/oaked dusty nose; bright dusty zingy spicy dusty cranberry dusty rather dusty/oaked flavor; very long dusty lingering cranberry dusty some oaked bit dusty finish w/ hard/ brutal/dusty tannins; a classic Turley White Zinfandel that needs 7-15 yrs; this, the most sought-after & highly-allocated of the Turley Zins, comes from a tiny 4-vine plot at 277 St.Helena Hwy that was planted by one Bob Trinchero on the passage of the Hoot-Smalley Tariff act that opend up the French/fine Bordeaux market to importation of the reknowned SutterHome White Zinfandel, causing a huge crash in that market. Despite an astonishing 50% increase in production level (now at 3 btls; one for Larry Turley, one for Tom Hill, and now one for Ehren Jordan) the quality level remains incredibly high and is expected to compete, mano e mano, w/ the finest of the Sutter Home offerings. $3.17
This TN, originally posted to Alt.Food.Wine, has the price garbled because it was going thru the USB cable connected to my punched card reader.
In the original TN, it was priced at $56.00. When TomStevenson was researching his book on Calif wine, he visited PaulDraper for a day. Paul gave him his "TomHill" file of TN's
and he saw the TN in there on Hoot-Smalley White Zin. In his book, he labeled this wine as the most expensive White Zin ever made. Look it up, as they say. I eventually sent him an e-mail explaining it
was a joke to see if anybody was reading my TN's. Like now, very few folks read my TN's and picked up on it. Stevenson got a real laugh over being spoofed.
You'll notice that the original TN had a real paucity of /////'s. Now they have many more ////'s to improve their readability.
Anyway....one of the WineWorld's Urban Legends. Now you know the rest of the story.
Tom

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#33 Post by JDavisRoby »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:17 am What's with the bloody pulpit?
Is it weird I skip to the pulpit before reading the tasting note?
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#34 Post by Rodrigo B »

JDavisRoby wrote: July 21st, 2021, 7:42 pm
Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:17 am What's with the bloody pulpit?
Is it weird I skip to the pulpit before reading the tasting note?
I often do this too. I find it helps in giving more context to the wines tasted.
B r @ g @

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Not At All..

#35 Post by TomHill »

JDavisRoby wrote: July 21st, 2021, 7:42 pm
Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 21st, 2021, 11:17 am What's with the bloody pulpit?
Is it weird I skip to the pulpit before reading the tasting note?
Absolutely not, Josh. The TN's are short & boring and just mostly boring descriptors, with the last few phrases that tell how much I liked/disliked the wine.
But the BP is the meat of my TN's, puts things in context, and usually gives some historical background. Who knows, some of it may even be true!!
Tom

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#36 Post by Greg Harter »

D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: July 21st, 2021, 1:10 pm Who here tried the Turley “Smoot-Hawley” vineyard white zin before Tom posted a TN on it? No one, that’s who.
After the Tasting note was published, the wine clearly sold out quickly as you couldn't find a bottle anywhere. Clearly still one of the super cult wines as its still impossible to find anywhere.

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#37 Post by Andrew K. »

I didn't know Tom was a personality. I just thought his TNs were boring, but not particularly short.
к𝓁ย𝐠

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#38 Post by Michael Martin »

Somewhere buried deep in this forum I once expressed an odd desire to tour wine regions with Tom while driving a Ford Squire wagon. I still hold onto that dream.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#39 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

Greg Harter wrote: July 21st, 2021, 8:08 pm
D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: July 21st, 2021, 1:10 pm Who here tried the Turley “Smoot-Hawley” vineyard white zin before Tom posted a TN on it? No one, that’s who.
After the Tasting note was published, the wine clearly sold out quickly as you couldn't find a bottle anywhere. Clearly still one of the super cult wines as its still impossible to find anywhere.
The original unicorn. Rumor has it Rudy once came upon a stash behind a bricked-up cellar wall in Paris, but that was never confirmed.

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#40 Post by Rich Brown »

Michael Martin wrote: July 21st, 2021, 8:54 pm Somewhere buried deep in this forum I once expressed an odd desire to tour wine regions with Tom while driving a Ford Squire wagon. I still hold onto that dream.
In my mind it would be more like this :
images.jpeg-4.jpg
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Re: Sorry...

#41 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

TomHill wrote: July 21st, 2021, 6:29 pm
D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: July 21st, 2021, 1:10 pm Who here tried the Turley “Smoot-Hawley” vineyard white zin before Tom posted a TN on it? No one, that’s who.
Sorry, Dave..... Smoot-Hawley was a tariff act that caused a lot of damage to the US economy.
It was the Turley Hoot-Smalley White Zin that you were thinking about. It was a legend in its time.
I almost typed Hoot-Smalley but my inner historian made me revert to the other. Good to know.

I had forgotten the 4 vines @ 18.7% ABV. I think that is key to its longevity both as a wine and as a legend.
Last edited by D@ve D y r 0 f f on July 21st, 2021, 9:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Another TN

#42 Post by TomHill »

That Google turned up:
Tom wrote: Turley Napa Valley White Zinfandel Hoot–Smalley Vnyd (17.8%) ’97: Pale salmon color; fragrant/ perfumed/aromatic/dusty old vines/complex/bergamots/RioGrande tadpoles/toasted Serbian oak/raspberry/cranberry/simple nose; dry (3.7% r.s.) fragrant/floral/bergamots/smokey/ toasty/oaked/complex/raspberry/dusty young vines flavor; very long/perfumed/complex/ charred oak/short finish w/ lush/sexy tanins; clearly needs some 17 yrs of age to reach the apogee characteristic of mature/well-aged WhiteZin. Good QPR at $73.19 …
Different TN.. different btl probably. This is the TN Stevenson saw.
Tom

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#43 Post by Mariano Chiaramonte »

For some time I misinterpreted the short/boring as a wine descriptor. What an unlucky guy, I thought, every wine he tastes is short and boring... newhere

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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#44 Post by Jim Cowan »

Tom who?
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#45 Post by J. Rock »

I'm always waiting for that unicorn long/exciting note!
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Re: Sorry...

#46 Post by Otto Forsberg »

TomHill wrote: July 21st, 2021, 6:29 pm You'll notice that the original TN had a real paucity of /////'s. Now they have many more ////'s to improve their readability.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#47 Post by Mark Mason »

I always read Tom's tasting notes.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#48 Post by Anton D »

Rich Brown wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:17 pm
Michael Martin wrote: July 21st, 2021, 8:54 pm Somewhere buried deep in this forum I once expressed an odd desire to tour wine regions with Tom while driving a Ford Squire wagon. I still hold onto that dream.
In my mind it would be more like this :

images.jpeg-4.jpg
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#49 Post by Neal.Mollen »

Mark Mason wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 7:39 am I always read Tom's tasting notes.
Me too. And I really have little interest in the wines themselves. Weird.
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Re: Help Me Understand a Wine Critic: Tom Hill

#50 Post by Jason T »

Neal.Mollen wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 11:09 am
Mark Mason wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 7:39 am I always read Tom's tasting notes.
Me too. And I really have little interest in the wines themselves. Weird.
Hah. Same.
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