Ever since his grandfather took over Real Companhia Velha in 1960, the Silva Reis family have focused their efforts on making wonderful ports and wines from their Douro Valley vineyards. Tiago is the latest generation to take up positions within the company, ensuring the future of the business for multiple decades to come. 

Cate Cleary asked Tiago to tell her about the six wines that changed his life.

Wine 1 - Royal Oporto 1871 Vintage Port

To taste a 150 year old Port is always a special moment. This bottle has been aging in our cellar since it was bottled. The exact bottling data is unknown, probably between 1873 and 1875. This Port is just out of this world, still showing a lot of vigour, concentration and fruit aromas and flavours. It’s a pre phylloxera wine which makes the experience even more special. We served it bling to a group of clients and asked people to guess the year with the consensus being that it was a Port from the 1970s.. well they only missed by 100 years.

Wines like this show how special and outstanding Ports can be. Something I will never forget…

Wine 2 - Royal Oporto 1847 Colheita Port

This 176 years old Colheita Port was likely bottled in the 1930s after having spent about 80 years in cask. Showing great vibrancy and a sense of freshness from its lingering finish, this Port demonstrates how Colheitas can be exceptional and offer immense longevity. Again, a very rare pre phylloxera wine.

Wine 3 - Vincent Girardin Chevalier Montrachet 2012

I was fortunate enough to taste this wine with Eric Germain, the head wine Maker at Vincint Girardin in Burgundy. This outstanding wine really shows why burgundy is special and the longevity white wines from this terroir can have. It was also my first trip to Burgundy making it an experience I will never forget.

Wine 4 - Chateau Haut Brion 2001

I was fortunate to try a small sample at 67 Pall Mall in London and the elegance of this wine really impressed me. It was such a balanced wine, with structure and power but with great freshness and finesse. With no doubts a wine that can continue to age but for me was it was at its peak! Shame I only had a 25ml taster!

Wine 5 - Champagne Egly-Ouriet VP Vieillissement Prolonge Grand Cru Extra Brut

This champagne really impressed me for its complexity yet freshness and balance. The extra time of autolysis really makes this champagne grand! I shared this bottle with a close group of friends making it a truly memorable experience.

Wine 6 - Dandy Red Real Companhia Velha

The Dandy red, was the first wine my brother and I conceived from scratch. It is an affordable wine from the Douro made to be drunk young and with a lower ABV. We couldn’t be happier with the style of the wine, it fresh, fruity, and easy drinking but it has some seriousness to it… Every time I taste it I am more certain that we ‘hit the nail in the head’ as it is a differentiating wine from the Douro that gives me immense pleasure drinking. 

To see the wonderful Douro DOC wines & Ports from Tiago, click here

Peter Wood