Bio Vino

The biodynamic wine list at The Loop's new Henri

Biodynamic viniculture is one of the trendiest topics in wine.

It's also one of the least understood, with widespread confusion about what it means, why it matters–and why there's a manure-filled cow horn involved.

Shebnem Ince is here to clear the air–and sing biodynamics' praises–with her wine list at Henri, the new sister restaurant to The Gage.

Over 80 percent of the selections are biodynamic, a philosophy she describes as: "A practice that looks at the vineyards as a holistic system and uses natural methods to heal problems."

That cow horn? Burying it for six months makes potent, all-natural fertilizer that richens the soil. And one result of the happy vines is extra complexity and depth. Here are three wines that put the proof on the palate, all available at Henri:

• Ince calls Littorai's Ted Lemmon her American hero. Try his Charles Heintz Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, poured from a magnum, by the glass ($18).

• Alois Lageder is her Italian hero, and Ince credits biodynamics for giving his 2009 Beta Delta Pinot Grigio-Chardonnay ($13) a ripeness unusual for cold-climate whites.

• For a splurge, try a bottle of the 2005 Gourt de Mautens Rasteau Grenache from 90-year-old vines in the Rhône ($100), which Ince calls intense, opulent, and "the essence of Granache."

Henri, 18 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-578-0763 or henrichicago.com