We have developed a new method for the stereoselective establishment of the N-acyl hemiaminal moiety in zampanolide-type structures that involves the reaction of (Z,E)-sorbamide (3) with BINAL-H and subsequent amide transfer from a putative aluminum carboximidoate complex to the aldehyde moiety of a dactylolide precursor, such as 2 or 5. The method has enabled the efficient synthesis of 13-desmethylene-(−)-zampanolide (4), which was found to be an equipotent cell growth inhibitor as the natural product (−)-zampanolide (1).