Est. 2011

Real Companhia Velha

Real Companhia Velha

Founded 1756
Owner Silva Reis family
Vineyards Quinta das Carvalhas, Quinta dos Aciprestes, Quinta do Sibio. Quinta da Granja, Quinta de Sidrô, Quinta do Corval
Vintage Port Brands Real Companhia Velha, Royal Oporto, Real Vinicola, Pitters

The mother company is trading under three different company names: Real Companhia Velha, Royal Oporto Wine Co and Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhos do Alto Douro depending on market, brand and other. This is somewhat confusing as, for example, the brand Royal Oporto can be shipped by the company Real Companhia Velha or vice versa. Until 1997 Real Companhia Velha and Royal Oporto were in fact the same wine but with different labels, where Royal Oporto is simply the English translation of the trademark. But from the 1997 Vintage the wines are produces separately.

In addition, Real Companhia owns several other companies and, for example, Real Vinicola is shipped by Real Companhia Vinicola do Norte de Portugal, SA.

Since its foundation by Royal Charter of King Dom José on the 10th of September 1756 under the auspices of His Prime Minister, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Mello, Count of Oeiras and Marquis of Pombal. Formed by the most important farmers of the Upper Douro and the Good Men of the City of Oporto, the Company was entrusted with the task of ‘sustaining the cultivation of vines, conserving the production of them in their natural pureness, in benefit of Agriculture, Trade and Public Health.’ Among the numberless services performed by the Company in favour of the public, the outstanding, because of their enormous importance, were the so-called Pombaline Demarcation in the Douro Region, carried out between 1758 and 1761 by the Deputies of the Board of the Real Companhia Velha. Thus the Port wine Region was delimited and being the oldest Demarcated Wine Region in the world.

In 1781 the Real Companhia Velha, also known as Royal Oporto Wine Company, presented its Port Wine to the Imperial lips of Catherine of Russia. As a result of the Company's action, exports of the famous wines of the Douro Region underwent considerable and successive increase. During the French Invasions (1809), Napoleon's troops requisitioned the wines of Real Companhia Velha which thus came to be part of the rations of the French soldiers. Almost at the same time (1811), Lord Wellington and his troops were also consuming the Company's Porto Wines.

Many Kings have reigned in Portugal and the importance of Real Companhia Velha is well demonstrated through the numerous services to the community and the support of the majestic privileges granted by Queen D. Maria I, King D. João IV, Queen D. Maria II and King D. Pedro. What makes Real Companhia Velha unique is the way its own history is intimately linked to the history of the Porto Wine trade and to the history of Portugal itself. For more than one century, between 1756 and 1865, Real Companhia Velha played such an important role in the Porto industry, as regulatory body, as well as trade promoter, that it can be said, the history of the Company is almost the History of Porto. On the 7th December 1865 by Royal Decree of King Dom Fernando the exports through the Porto Harbour of all wines produced in Portugal was declared free and the company lost its majestic privileges and became a public company trading in the open Porto market continuing to develop the reputation of its name all over the world.

Royal Oporto grew enormously after 1950, and Silva Reis bought it in 1960 but in the revolution of 1974 it was nationalised and the stocks sold off. The company has since been sold back to Silva Reis and when he returned he declared a vintage named ‘Desintervencao’ i.e. The Return.

Real Comp Velha and Royal Oporto was the same vintage wine in the bottle until 1997 when the house decided that Royal Oporto had a better selection of grapes and from the vintage 1997 they are two different wines.

The House Hooper was bought in 1951, Real Vinicola in 1963, Souza Guedes & Irmao in 1975, and Delaforce in 2001.

Quintas: Real Companhia Velha is one of the leading producer of Porto and the largest owner of Premium land in the Douro Valley. The Company owns some of the Douro´s finest Quintas.

Quinta dos Aciprestes
Since the 1860's the Quinta dos Aciprestes has been a conglomeration of several Quintas. The original Quinta - called dos Cyprestes - was founded in the 18th century by Dom José de Seabra, one of the ministers of Queen Dona Maria I, and owned by his successors, the Viscounts da Baía.

Quinta das Carvalhas
The Quinta das Carvalhas has a prominent position on the left bank of the Douro River facing Pinhão. It is most certainly the largest Quinta in the whole of the Douro Region and undoubtedly the jewel of Real Companhia Velha crown. Written reference about Carvalhas can be traced back to 1759

Quinta do Casal da Granja
The Casal da Granja is situated in the Plateau of Alijó right in the heart of Granja de Alijó village. Being at an altitude between 520-640 meters and fanned by cool mountain breezes Casal da Granja is an enormous property of gently undulating land and is privileged for the production of the finest White Port Wine and Douro table wines. Bought back of Silva Reis in 1972 for the Real Companhia Velha.

Quinta de Sidrô
According to historical information vines were first planted on the Quinta de Sidrô in the early 19th century when the imposing Palácio was built by the first Marquis of Soveral. Sidrô continued to belong to the Soveral family, which included Luis de Soveral, Ambassador to the Court of St. James and a personal friend of King Edward VII, until it passed to the Viscount of Asseca. Real Companhia Velha bought this prestigious Quinta in 1972.

Quinta do Corval
Corval is a small Quinta of 2,5 hectares. It was completely restructured in 2001.

Quinta do Síbio
Historians have confirmed that Quinta do Síbio was planted around the same time as the foundation of Real Companhia Velha (1756). It was in the hands of the Jordão family until 1934 when Real Companhia Vinícola purchased it.

Real Companhia Velha Vintages:1804, 1812, 1815, 1852, 1853, 1864, 1868, 1871, 1886, 1890, 1891, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1929, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961*, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
Royal Oporto Vintages:1868, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2011
Real Vinicola Vintages:1967, 1970, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1994, 1996
Quinta do Sibio Vintages:1934, 1938, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1970, 1977, 1982, 1985
Quinta do Corval Vintages:1937, 1941, 1963, 1977
Quinta das Carvalhas Vintages:1970, 1977, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
Quinta do Jordao Vintages:1943, 1945, 1950, 1958

Vintage Port tasting notes:

HouseReal VelhaVintage1977
ColourTurbid but yellow mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetCrème candy, some crème caramel which disappeared rather soon, and replaced by some pharmacy in the nose.Score range15.25 - 15.25
TasteMedium body. Mature and even old with some volatile acidity. Mostly pharmacy in taste and not quite balanced but rather good and not hard to enjoy and swallow. Drink up if you have any bottles left. This port will soon dye!Average score
Last tasted24th December 2015Point this date15.25
CommentAt home with the family
TastersSAI, JB, SS
Real Velha
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetOld hospital and pharmacy in the nose. Not so attractive and quite old port bouquet.Score range14.00 - 14.00
TasteMedium body. Volatile acidity but very tasty and good in a strange way. Quite long and enjoyable finish. A very odd port but still enjoyable.Average score
Last tasted12th May 2013Point this date14.00
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage1984
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetUnbalance nose of unclean barrel.Score range
TasteMedium body. Mature and light. Sweet but unbalance and not good. A defect bottle but the port can be swallowed.Average score
Last tasted12th July 2004Point this date13.50
CommentAt home with the family.
*Defect bottle.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage1985
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings5
BouquetBurned sugar, liquorice, French plums, cacao and some cinnamon in the nose.Score range15.40 - 16.25
TasteMedium body. Mature and peaking. Still elegant with burned sugar and toffee in taste. Easy to drink and like. Nice and rather long finish but will not be better so drink up and enjoy. Is drying out in the glass.Average score15.64
Last tasted21st March 2019Point this date15.40
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
1 bottle has been defect.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage1987
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetElegant bouquet with old grocery shop, minty and lots of cacao.Score range
TasteMature and at its peak. Elegant and complex. Lots of cacao in flavour. Wonderful finish. A very attractive and lovely port indeed.Average score
Last tasted29th September 2011Point this date17.25
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage1998
ColourDark blue in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetNot an attractive nose. Defect bottle?Score range13.40 - 13.40
TasteMedium body. Easy to swallow and quite mature. Some tannin. Rather short finish. Better luck with the next bottle I hope.Average score
Last tasted15th September 2004Point this date13.40
CommentAt a trip to Porto and Douro, Portugal with the Danish Port Wine Club est. 1981 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
*This bottle has a defect nose and not attractive to swallow.
HouseReal VelhaVintage2000
ColourStill quite dark with a yellow mature rim.Number of tastings2
BouquetMature dark cherry, dark berry and mulberry in the nose.Score range15.75 - 16.00
TasteRather full-bodied. Quite mature but still with soft tannin and will be better. Dark berry and mulberry in taste. Sweet. Elegant and balanced with a quite long and attractive finish.Average score
Last tasted2nd November 2015Point this date15.75
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage2001
ColourStill quite dark but with a yellow mature rim.Number of tastings1
BouquetMulberry, liquorice, some dark chocolate and dark berry in the nose.Score range15.75 - 15.75
TasteMedium body. Quite mature and will not be much better. Quite elegant and easy to drink and enjoy with liquorice, mulberry and some chocolate in taste. A rather short but nice finish.Average score
Last tasted19th February 2017Point this date15.75
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage2003
ColourYellow mature in colour.Number of tastings3
BouquetLovely bouquet of roasted coffee, cacao, some chocolate, spiciness and candy in the nose.Score range15.40 - 15.50
TasteMedium body. Mature and almost peaking but still with some delicate tannin. Will probably not be much better. Balanced and quite elegant port. Easy to drink and to like today with lovely and quite attractive finish!Average score15.45
Last tasted5th November 2018Point this date15.40
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1 bottle has been defect.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage2005
ColourStill quite blue in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetDark berry, mulberry, ginger and a hint of liquorice in the nose.Score range15.25 - 15.25
TasteMedium body. Astonishing mature with just a hint of tannin. Will this port be much better? Easy to drink today. Mulberry in taste and a quite short finish. Not a great port.Average score
Last tasted19th February 2017Point this date15.25
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage2007
ColourRuby with a yellow mature edge in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetMint, candy, dark berry such as mulberry, dark cherry and blackberry in the nose.Score range16.00 - 16.00
TasteMedium body. Rather mature but still with some soft tannin and will be better. Mint, candy and dark berry in taste with a long and very interesting finish.Average score
Last tasted21st June 2018Point this date16.00
CommentTasted at our apartment in the Douro Valley, Portugal.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage2011
ColourDark blue in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetFruit, berry and kernels in the nose.
TasteMedium body. Tannin but easy to drink and appreciate. A modern port with already a quite attractive finish.
Last tasted3rd November 2014Rating this dateVery Good
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Port so young we evaluate only as : Good – Very good- Impressive – Very Impressive
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal VelhaVintage2012
ColourDark blue but a nice yellow rim in colour.Number of tastings2
BouquetDark berry, mulberry, blackberry and fruit in the nose.Score range15.50 - 15.50
TasteMedium body. Immature and tannic. Mulberry and fruit in taste. Balance and quite modern in style. Rather complex with a nice finish.Average score
Last tasted6th November 2017Point this date15.50
CommentAt the Port Wine Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.
TastersSAI, JB, SS

Old Colheita/Tawny tasting notes:

HouseReal Comp. VelhaColheita1904
ColourBeautiful light tawny in colour.Number of tastings1
BouquetSalt liquorice, leather and varnish in the nose.Bottled1962
TasteMedium body. Mature but with still some acidity. Old hospital in taste. Rather complex with a nice finish.Score range
Last tasted18th April 2014Point this date15.40
CommentAt home with the family.
TastersSAI, JB, SS
HouseReal Comp. VelhaColheita1944
ColourTawny in colour with an olive-green rim.Number of tastings1
BouquetLovely complex bouquet of Christmas raisin, French plum, burned sugar and dried fruit.Bottled1972
TasteMedium body. Mature and complex. French plum in taste. Well knit together with a long and balanced finish. Lovely port.Score range16.75 - 16.75
Last tasted28th May 2005Point this date16.75
CommentAt the Wine Society 18% tasting in Malmö.
TastersSAI, JB, SS

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