There were a lot of distractions from winemaking in 1968: the Prague Spring; the May strikes and protests in France; and the civil rights movement, opposition to the Vietnam War, and assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in the USA.
The 1968 Winter Olympics were held in Grenoble, France, in February and were largely trouble-free – unlike the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in October.
The weather in late Winter / early Spring in Bordeaux in 1968 was not dissimilar to winter 2023 in London: mild, wet, and sometimes very cold… Hardly conducive to growing grapes!
It snowed in Bordeaux on 6th April. But the second half of April was much nicer and the grapevines grew quickly.
Rain and mist in early June and August slowed down the vines’ progress.
And it was still raining during the harvest in late September and early October…
It might have ended up as wretched as 1965 or 1963 but by 1968 a severer selection of grapes was done by the more conscientious Bordeaux estates and better wines were made.
The ’68 clarets were fruity and charming (like 1997 in my time, perhaps).
Château Latour made arguably the best wine of this unloved vintage.
It’s not at the level of 1961, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1982 (or even 1899) – but always worth a look…